No you're not big boned, and it's got nothing to do with that Big Mac a day you have along with full-fat coke. Being fat is not your fault, it's your fat friends fault. Their fatty disease has spread to you, it's official. At least that's what a report in the New England Journal of Medicine says.
According to the International Herald Tribune, it involved a "detailed analysis of a large social network of 12,067 people who had been closely followed for 32 years, from 1971 until 2003." The investigation's lead Dr. Nicholas Christakis, professor of medical sociology (wtf??) at Harvard Medical School essentially claims that if you start hanging around with fat people you find the body acceptable. Your peers therefore act as "a kind of social contagion, that spreads through the network."
Personally it sounds like bollocks to me, but then I am a cynic. Let's put it like this, if you flip it on its head then it's probably not wise to have special centres for anorexics to hang around together right? In fact, if the research was correct, then the success rate of those sort of places would be lower than it is wouldn't it?
Dizzy, you write: "..if the research was correct, then the success rate of those sort of places would be lower than it is wouldn't it?"
I was just about to challenge your logic when I remembered the 'Bard's' words "Nothing is but what it is not".
So I suppose that you're right were you not.
Well, of course fat people hang out together because they're non-judgemental of each other. And if you and your friends drop into McDonald's for the second time in one day, it would feel normal because the whole group's doing it.
There's no excuse for being fat, but they all enable one another. "Oh, I really shouldn't!"
"Oh, go on! One extra order of chips isn't going to kills you!"
I know there is a male myth that pretty women hang out with plain women to make themselves look more attractive, but actually, this is a male fantasy and it's rubbish. Pretty, well-dressed women tend to hang out with other pretty, well-dressed women because they mirror each other and they like what they see. It is nothing to do with how they appear to men.
My point being, like hangs out with like.
It makes perfect sense to me. We (willingly or subconsciously) measure ourselves against the people we know. That is why lack of ambition in schools becomes a vicious circle because if none of your peers are working then it's unlikely that you will either. If your mates stay in on a Saturday night and munch on icecream you're unlikely to be out dancing the night away.
Does this mean if I start hanging around with 'the beautiful people' I transform into a devilishly handsome chap?
The trick here, James, that I think Dizzy is referring to is, like hangs out with like. So if you're not already one of the beautiful people, you wouldn't be admitted to the group anyway.
The one exception, and it's only applied to males is, you don't have to be handsome if you're rich. Rich counts as honorary handsome.
"you don't have to be handsome if you're rich"
or perhaps more importantly, powerful, which is not necessarily synonymous.
That fat fuck Prescott being a prime example. Bet he doesn't get laid any more.
I knew I shouldnt have gone to watch Big Daddy wrestle as a kid... it's all his fault!
Guido Faux - You are right. Rich and powerful are usually synonymous. Greek ship owners are, by definition, handsome. So are people who own a lot of oil wells in W Texas. Aristotle Onassis and Howard Hughes were very handsome men.
And money is power.
Then we descend to your scary example, power without money or looks - in fact, negative looks - or, in other words, John Prescott.
I think they proliferate in governments and always have, and Teddy Kennedy is the international poster boy. (Although his family does have money plus arrogance.) But he poses as a man of the people.
Here is an interesting fact,not relevant to this post: more people died in Teddy Kennedy's car than died at Three Mile Island. Eat that, Jane Fonda!
If this research was correct, then all we would need to do to "cure" anorexia would be to put single anorexics in amongst a group of fat women. Given it does not work when you put anorexics in a group of average sized women, I somehow doubt this works.
However, whenever I hang around with thin friends I have to put up with comments like "if only you lost weight you'd be beautiful" ... erm ... so which group of friends do I prefer?
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